11:26am EST: Reid Failed by a vote of 52-47. Reed/Levin is now stalled in the Senate. Harry Reid is currently trying to pass a motion to reconsider, but I don’t imagine it will do much.
10:45am EST: Mitch McConnell is calling out the Reed/Levin bill for being vague and unspecific. He repeatedly declares that he doesn’t know what the bill is going to do with the troops in Iraq. He then argues that the amendment is a bad idea but he won’t vote for cloture on the bill. Awesome.
10:07am EST: John Cornyn is up now. He looks taller than I had remembered. He also looks vaguely dictatorial, but that shouldn’t be surprising based on his voting record.
9:30am EST: We’re now roughly 90 minutes away from the big vote, and it doesn’t seem like a lot has changed. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is speaking right now and he sounds eerily like speakers I heard almost 9 hours ago. Democrats are making a lot of Vietnam comparisons, Republicans are speaking of hope (for Iraq) and fear (if we pull out.) Late last night, Senators McConnell and Reid agreed on having this vote at 11:00am EST and agreed that they would have the final 10-minute speaking segments before the vote.
1:30am EST: A lack of updates would ordinarily suggest that I have turned my attention to something more interesting but this time I simply don’t have a lot to say. The Senators are going pretty slowly and talking their time with speeches. Around 5:00am EST, there will be a procedural roll-call vote followed by the big 11:00am EST cloture vote. I’ll be awake for both votes and at various points in the middle, but dont expect many major updates.
If any of you have coverage of the speeches, you may have noticed the huge blue-and-white ‘LET US VOTE’ signs that the liberal-leaning Senators have propped up behind them. After 15-minutes of lofty rhetoric, these signs serve as rather gentle reminders of which side a Senator is on. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is on right now and he is reading letters from the families of soldiers in Iraq. He makes a lot of good points, too bad logic doesn’t usually fair well in the Senate.
Why is Joe Lieberman speaking on C-SPAN at 10:30pm? Because the Senate is in session all-night! I’m excited, I hope you’re excited. Thus far, my favorite quite related to the whole ordeal came from Sen. Patrick Leahy: ” “Thank you, you’re a lot nicer to me than Dick Cheney.” (from ThinkProgress.) I’ll keep updating this page as interesting things arise. Even though I get what seem like 37 HBO variants, I don’t get C-SPAN where I am so I’m watching online here.
And yes, this has apparently happened before, in 1988, when Majority Leader Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., ordered round-the-clock Senate sessions that were boycotted by Republicans. Charlie Cook recounts that Byrd ordered the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms to arrest absent senators and bring them to the floor. Capitol cops arrested Sen. Robert Packwood, R-Ore., and even removed him from a locked Senate office and carried him onto the Senate floor, Cook writes.
Imagine the sergeant-at-arms dragging Mitch McConnell onto the floor of the Senate!